Flowers of the stonecrop (sedum) family are usually white or yellow, but some come in shades of pink, rose and red. Sedums are useful in rock gardens and drought-tolerant landscapes because they retain water. Also sometimes called the live-forever plant, the sedum is a succulent with fleshy leaves and stems. Sedums are easy to grow if they have good drainage. There are many varieties, from tiny star-like flowers to globe-like clusters of blossoms, from 2 to 18 inches tall.
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Most sedums are perennial, although Sedum anglicum is a biennial that self-sows by seed so freely that it seems like a perennial, with new plants constantly sprouting. It stands only 2 to 4 inches tall, but spreads to be a ground cover, displaying pinkish white flowers in July.
Sedum acre is a stonecrop known by many common names, such as mossy stonecrop, gold dust and golden moss. It grows 5 inches tall from branching stems. It also spreads and can be used as a ground cover. Sedum acre blossoms with yellow flowers in June and July.
Pork and beans is an unusual nickname for a plant, but Sedum rubrotinctum fits it perfectly. It flowers in a reddish yellow shade with leaves the shape of beans in a reddish brown color. It spreads rampantly on 8-inch stems in a mounding shape, and the leaves easily root themselves if detached.
Showy stone-crop (Sedum spectabile) is a common erect sedum growing to 18 inches high with 3-inch fleshy, light green leaves. It is a spectacular fall flower with clusters of pink, rose or red blossoms 4 inches wide. Although it dies back in winter, the frame and seedpod should be left as food for the birds, Remove them when new growth appears in the spring.
This sedum also has amusing common names: donkey tail and burro tail. It grows long, trailing stems up to 4 feet and looks good on top of a rock wall. It displays gray-green leaves and flowers in pink to red shades.
Orange stonecrop (Sedum kamschaticum) grows erect to a height of 9 inches in glossy green clumps. The orange-yellow flowers burst from the mound in July and August.